Earth Sciences - May 20
Earth Sciences
Engineers at EPFL and the University of Geneva believe they hold the key to automated drone mapping. By combining artificial intelligence with a new algorithm, their method promises to considerably reduce the time and resources needed to accurately scan complex landscapes.
Environment - May 19
Environment

A new robot is capable of switching from an underwater drone to an aerial vehicle in less than one second. The robot also features a suction disc inspired by the remora fish, which enables it to hitchhike on wet or dry moving objects to significantly reduce its power consumption. It is designed for biological and environmental monitoring in marine ecosystems such as surveying ocean pollution in the open sea as the scientist of Beihang University, Imperial College London and Empa point out in a new study published in Science Robotics.

Chemistry - May 19
Chemistry

Salad boxes to go, sealed-tray lasagna and apple juice in PET bottles: we encounter packaged food and drink everywhere. A new database shows which packaging contains harmful substances that can be transferred to its contents. It also includes findings from researchers at the University of Basel, who are investigating plastic molecules that were previously unknown or barely known.

Environment - May 19
Environment

Global biodiversity assessments require the collection of data on changes in plant biodiversity on an ongoing basis. Researchers from the universities of Zurich and Montréal have now shown that plant communities can be reliably monitored using imaging spectroscopy, which in the future will be possible via satellite. This paves the way for near real-time global biodiversity monitoring.

Health - May 19

If a human comes down with a rash, they might go to the doctor and come away with some ointment to put on it. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins get skin conditions, too, but they come about their medication by queuing up nose-to-tail to rub themselves against corals. In the journal iScience on 19 May, researchers show that these corals have medicinal properties, suggesting that the dolphins are using the marine invertebrates to medicate skin conditions.

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